Third/fourth Port of call
13.06.2007 - 14.06.2007
Phuket wasn't really our third port of call, it was our 4th, but a man had a heart attack on the ship and had to be taken to the nearest hospital, that was at Phuket, so we missed stopping at Krabi and had 2 days at Phuket.
The ship pulled into port and the sick passenger was off-loaded and taken by ambulance to hospital. It was 10am when we were allowed off the ship and into a sea of taxi and van drivers who descended upon us, all wanting our business. Prices were extremely expensive, so a few of us decided to walk, then we found out if we walked along the road, we would come to a gate and fence which stopped entry into the Port area.
Here we found dozens of taxi drivers, probably 6 people thick waiting at the gate, you can just imagine what happened when they saw some people coming! Yelling began and then when we nearly reached them, instead of us doing the bartering, they were bartering amongst themselves. That was good for us! We chose a nice driver at a good price and as he was so nice, we booked him for the following day.
He told us a ballot was held and each taxi received a number, so if you were between 1 - 20, then that taxi was allowed into the port area, as one taxi left, then the next number came in, 21 and so on.
We walked Phuket enjoying looking at all the different handicrafts, I probably paid too much at the start, but it still was cheap for me. Ladies on motorbikes came into town and set up business on the streets cooking lunch meals. This was something we hadn't seen before and were fascinated with it.
The heavens opened up, and when they do, the rain falls by the bucket load. We found shelter in one of the stalls.
That evening we went to see the http://www.phuket-fantasea.com/index.php which I can highly recommend, it was fabulous!
The next day our taxi driver picked us up at the port and took us on a tour. Our first stop was for an Elephant ride, one I wish I never did as the Elephants looked in poor condition and were being hit because they were going too slow. Poor animals, what a terrible life for them!
Our driver took us to Patong Beach where the 2004 tsunami hit, we were quite surprised that it had recovered so well.
Next was to Siam Niramit Phuket, a Thai cultural show which covered everything Thai. This was another fabulous show, one where beautifully dressed performers danced their way through many traditional Thai dancers from early days to modern day Thai dance.
Our last stop was at Rang Hill look-out for some wonderful views. Here we saw an aggressive monkey after food a tourist had.
Well, we had a good time in Phuket and managed to fill in our extra day. I thought it quite a good place to buy quality souvenirs.